Aggie Volleyball Sweeps Rice; Ziegler Suffers Season-Ending Injury

Rocio GutierrezThe Aggie volleyball team swept Rice 3-0 in the first game of the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, LA on Friday afternoon. The victory did not come without a price as sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler went down with an injury late in the first set with the Aggies leading 19-13. Ziegler had to be taken off the floor on a stretcher and official word from the Aggie coaching staff is that she suffered a broken tibea and broken fibea near her right ankle and will miss the remainder of the season.

Aggie freshman Rocio Gutierrez came into the match for the Aggies to replace the injured Ziegler who had been playing well to that point. The Owls went right after Gutierrez on serve and she struggled passing the ball and Rice took advantage cutting the Aggies' lead to 21-19. "When she first came into the match she was real nervous and passed really bad serve-receive," said Coach Jordan. After a timeout by the Aggies, Gutierrez settled down and the Aggies would take the set 25-19 on four straight hitting errors by the Owls. "They went right at her [Rocio] when she first came in but out of the timeout she came out and three passed three or four balls in a row and we sided out efficiently."

Gutierrez and the Aggies showed no ill effects of seeing their teammate go down as they would take the second set 25-22. Gutierrez displayed her tremendous talent as the Aggies would rally from a 5-2 deficit behind three consecutive kills by the freshman to tie the set at 5-5. Gutierrez's fourth kill of the set gave the Aggies their first lead of the set at 7-6. With the set tied 8-8, the Aggies would reel off three consecutive points to take an 11-8 lead. The Aggies would maintain the three point lead at 13-10 but the Owls would score five of the next eight points to tie the set at 15-15. Rice would take a two point lead at 18-16 forcing the Aggies to take a timeout.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/10/10

The Aggie volleyball team is back in action today as they'll take on Rice in the Tiger Volleyball Classic. The Owls are 3-3 on the season but have dropped two of their last three with losses to Pepperdine, Missouri and victory over Eastern Washington. Offensively Rice is led by junior outside hitter Ashleigh McCord who leads the team with 90 kills and is averaging 4.5 kills per set and She has reached double-digit kills in all six matches in 2010.

The Aggies are led by Kayleigh Giddens who has 94 kills and is averaging 4.7 kills per set.

First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MT and Live Stats will be available via the LSU athletic website and streaming video will be available via the LSU athletic website as well (subscription required).

Today's match can also be heard on KSNM AM 570 and streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On a side note, the Rice Owls are famous for one other thing... the MOB. Check out this video to find out what we're talking about (you won't be disappointed).

The Aggie soccer team is back in action tonight as they host North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux are 0-4 and looking for their first victory of the season. The Fighting Sioux have scored just five goals and all five have been scored by different players.

By comparison, the Aggies' Yolanda McMillion has scored six goals by herself and the Aggies have scored 12 goals (though, eight of those goals came in one game).

The Aggies have been much more offensively minded this season and as we discussed with Coach Needham in this week's interview, the Aggies have done a much better job of controlling possession this season.

Today's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. MT start and streaming video will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie football team is just ONE day away from opening the 2010 season. That means its time for the third season of Know The Foe. This week we have enlisted the help of the San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer to give Aggie fans a quick look at the Aztecs.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

Know The Foe :: Aztec Q&A With The San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer

Know The Foe :: San Diego State
The 2010 Aggie football season opener means it's time the return of our Know The Foe feature for its third season. The season opener against Mountain West Conference foe San Diego State gives us the opportunity to talk to Brent Schrotenboer who covers the Aztecs for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Aztecs are entering year two of the Brady Hoke era, what differences if any have you seen in team's attitude/coaching strategy from last season to the opening game of this season?
Two things stand out: 1. A better understanding of the offense and defense. 2. A heightened sense of expectations on the team as a result. The team is more businesslike than it has been in previous years. That’s an important step.

How much should Aggie fans read into SDSU's 47-0 victory over Nicholls State? Sure, Nicholls State is an FCS team, but SDSU hasn't manhandled a team like that since the Idaho game in 2008.
I don’t think you can read much into it except that a wins helps build momentum and confidence. We don’t know yet how much this team has improved or how good it can be based on a game like that. But being 1-0 for the first time since 2004 is another important step for a team that hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1998.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 09/09/10 Your thoughts on tomorrow's game against North Dakota?
Michael Needham: It's a single game weekend for us so that's good. We're looking forward to going out and getting after it on Friday. It's an opportunity for us to continue building on what I feel like what was a very good weekend last weekend. It's another opportunity to go out and apply what things we picked up last weekend. Does your preparation change at all for a single game weekend as opposed to a two game weekend which is what you normally have?
MN: Preparation, not much. Expectations are a little bit different. You can go after a game a little bit differently. My preparation in terms of what I might do in the game might be a little bit different. But as far the players, it doesn't change too much. A single game weekend allows you to stick with people a little bit longer because you don't have to worry about playing again on Sunday. It allows you to do some things going forward and kind of push it a little bit, maybe go a little longer with certain players and try to impose yourself a little bit more.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/09/10

Be sure to check out the latest entry in Ellen Miks' Aggie Volleyball Diary to find out what famous athlete is an Aggie volleyball fan.

The Aggie volleyball team left this morning for Baton Rouge, LA where they'll take on Rice, LSU and North Carolina tomorrow and Saturday.

Aso be sure to check out this week's interview with cross country coach Paul Harkins. The Aggies are coming off a successful weekend up in Albuquerque. The meet was unscored, however, it it had been scored the Aggie men's team would have finished in second place behind UNM and ahead of UTEP. According to Coach Harkins, it's the first time the Aggie cross country team has beaten the UTEP cross country team. This is a very impressive feat considering UTEP is a strong cross country team and is ranked 5th in the Mountain region (the Aggie men's team is ranked 12th in the Mountain region). The UNM men's team is ranked 14th nationally and the UNM and UTEP women's teams are ranked 18th and 19th nationally.

The Aggies are off this weekend but return for their home meet, the Kachina Classic, next weekend.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 09/08/10 Your thoughts on the first meet of the season up in Albuquerque?
Paul Harkins: We thought the weekend went really well. It was an unsecured competition. On the women's side if it was scored we would have been third behind two teams that are ranked in the Top 20, both UNM and UTEP. We had three girls run faster than we've every had anybody run there before, at least since we've been here.

The twins [Courtney and Camille Schultz] finished in the Top 10 and they were running with some very very good competition, All-American types who have been at the national meet. Chelsa McDonnell had a great day, Jenna Padilla had a great day. She had run the course before as a high school senior and probably before that also but she ran 28 seconds faster than she had ever done before. So it was good all around.

On the men's side, the men ran absolutely fantastic. They showed that they've really done their work over the summer. If it was a scored meet, they would have finished second there behind UNM and would have beaten UTEP for what would be the first time in school history which is pretty exciting.

We had four guys run faster than our number one did a year ago and our fifth was a second off of what our number one did a year ago. We had five guys finish under 26 minutes and had five or six more guys run within 30 seconds of that. It was exciting to see where things started off. The guys and girls did a great job.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Ellen Miks' Aggie Volleyball Diary :: September 7th, 2010

Ellen MiksHello Aggie fans! Thank you everyone who came to our first home games last week and the UTEP game in El Paso! We had a blast playing in front of everyone and we hope that when September 25 rolls around that everyone will be back for more!

This week has been pretty intense in practice, but there is one thing that I remember vividly that happened a few days ago. The middles were hitting 4’s, the outside set, and coach told them to hit cross-court. They were creaming the ball and it was a blast watching them hit! For one hit, Brynja set Kelsey a great ball and Kelsey hit it down the line. This ball was hammered, but unfortunately our coach Don Flora was standing right where she hit the ball. Kelsey definitely hit Don’s chin in the process, which is what we in volleyball like to call a facial.

We leave for Baton Rouge this week to play Rice, North Carolina, and Louisiana State! It’s going to be a great weekend for us to play against great teams!  Continue Reading This Post >>

Gary Ward To Be Inducted Into ABCA Hall Of Fame

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State assistant baseball coach, Gary Ward, is once again being inducted as a hall-of-famer. Ward is being inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame, which is being held in Nashville, Tenn., Friday Jan. 7, 2011.

Ward returns to NM State for his seventh year to be an assistant for his son Rocky Ward. He is the hitting coach for the Aggies and brings an extensive amount of experience to the team.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/08/10

The Aggie volleyball team make it a baker's dozen last night as they swept the Miners for their 13th straight victory in the I-10 series. It was a bit of an odd night statistically as the only player in double-digit kills for either team was Kayleigh Giddens who finished with 15 kills. The Miners actually had more kills in two of the three sets than did the Aggies, 14-12 in set one and 15-10 in set two, however, the Miners committed eight errors in set one and nine errors in set two.

Also, a lot of times when you see a team with somewhat lower kill numbers in a set, the hitting percentage for that team is generally fairly low also (somewhere in the .100s) but not so for the Aggies last night. They hit .393 and .318 respectively in sets one and two. The Aggies were so efficient last night that only two players, Kayleigh Giddens and Rocio Gutierrez, hit under .300 last night. Stephanie Ziegler, Whitney Woods and Kelsey Brennan combined for 19 kills and they had a total of just two attack errors between the three of them.

What it all adds up to is a 3-0 sweep and the Aggies' 13th straight victory over their rivals.

Be sure to check out this week's interview with Aggie head football coach DeWayne Walker. Coach Walker and the rest of the Aggies are preparing for the season opener on Saturday against San Diego State.

Coach Walker gave us a unit-by-unit rundown of the 2010 Aggie football team and we also asked him to give us a couple of players who will quickly become household names for Aggie fans. Check out the interview to find out who those two players are.

Also, be sure to check out video from yesterday's media press conference courtesy of the guys at AggieVision.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Volleyball Sweeps UTEP For 13th Straight Victory In The Series

Jennah DeVriesA couple of big point runs by the Aggies resulted in the team's 13th straight victory over their I-10 rivals, the UTEP Miners, on Tuesday night in El Paso. Kayleigh Giddens paced the Aggies with 15 kills and the Aggies committed just 11 attack errors on the night in the victory. "We did a pretty good job from the service line," said head coach Mike Jordan. "We served it fairly tough at times."

The first set saw the Aggies jump out to a quick 3-1 lead before the Miners would tie things up at 3-3. The set would remain tied at 7-7 and then again at 9-9 when the Aggies would go on the first of their two big runs in the match. The Aggies would reel off eight consecutive points behind tough serving by sophomore libero Ellen Miks. The Agies would get a kill by Whitney Woods followed by a block by Stephanie Ziegler and Kelsey Brennan. After a double contact was called on the Miners, Miks would deliver a service ace to put the Aggies up 13-9. A kill by Kayleigh Giddens would force the Miners to call a timeout down 14-9. The timeout wasn't effective as the Aggies continued their point run as back-to-back-to-back hitting errors by UTEP's Jacque Cason and Jeane Horton would give the Aggies a 17-9 lead. The Miners would finally end the Aggies' point run scoring a point off as Ellen Miks was unable to come up with a dig on an attack by Jacque Cason.

The Aggies would score five of the next six points to push their lead out to 12 points at 23-11. The Miners would score four of the next five points to cut the Aggies' lead to 24-15 but a kill by Aggie middle blocker Michelle Kuester would end the set 25-15. The Aggies hit .393 in the set while holding UTEP to a .176 hitting percentage. The Miners committed eight attack errors in the set.  Continue Reading This Post >>